A great brand can set your company apart, give you a competitive advantage and encourage loyalty for your customers and staff. But there is so much lingo associated with brands! Brand: equity, essence, attributes, benefits, awareness or recall.
Developing business owners can be forgiven for being confused about where all this fits with growing their business and getting leads in the door.
So lets begin with your brand logo. A logo should reflect your brand, and fit your business name. As should the kind of text you use, because this will appear on business cards, stationary and your website.
But the most important thing to realise is that the brand is much more than a logo. A brand is:
– The complete look and feel of all your company’s communications material;
– How customers think and feel when they hear your company’s name, or see your company’s advertising;
– What customers, staff and other stakeholders expect of your company and say about it;
– What you promise the market, how you position your product and services;
– All about the way you run and communicate your company;
– Is the integrity and consistency in all of your company’s dealings; and
– About growing your business and getting leads in the door.
There are companies that are built almost completely on brand. For example, sparkling mineral water. Some customers are willing to pay a much higher price for it. Why, you ask, considering that they all taste pretty much the same, and probably cost about the same to produce. The answer is branding.
Yellow Cabs, Uber, Bonds, Volvo, IBM, Bunnings and Nudie. Very different companies, yet all sit will in the same sentence because of their strong brands.
Yellow Cabs and Uber are in the same industry, they provide people with transportation. Yet how you think about each company will vary widely.
Maybe you think:
Yellow Cabs: Safe, trustworthy, stable, more expensive.
Uber: New, Economical, people’s choice, fresh, affordable.
Both of these companies have spent millions of dollars getting you to think this way. But just because you don’t have millions to spend, doesn’t mean you can ignore developing your brand.
Your business and your brand are the same thing, so focusing on your brand helps focus the direction of the business. When building your brand, you must tick off practically every step in the process of creating a strong brand. This includes steps like: company name, conviction, colours, uniform, website, employees, vehicles, social media and even the way you answer calls from potential clients.
So, brand is not just advertising and the way you communicate about your business, it’s also the way customers actually feel about it, based on the way you are running it, and in comparison with your competitors.
Getting your brand right or reinvigorating a stale one can set your business on the path to success. Start focusing on it now, and if you are juggling too many hats, find a good partner to manage it for you!
Author: Lou Browne
Lou Browne has a long career history in multi-platform marketing B2C and B2B product and brand development having worked in industries as varied as wine and spirits, beauty and scuba diving. As well as a passion for social media, website design, events, marketing planning and strategy, she prides herself on her skills in relationship building.